CRL to appear before parliament

Cape Town, 20 March, 2018 – The CRL Rights Commission will come face to face with Parliament today after blaming it for the Engcobo shooting. Five officers and an off-duty soldier were shot dead after a group attacked eNgcobo police station last month.

TB Joshua may face legal action

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on October 9, 2014. 

A man who lost his sister when a guest house of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Nigeria collapsed almost a month ago wants to take legal action against the church.

Mpho Molebatsi said this week his “anger was directed at TB Joshua and his church”, adding the incident had left far too many people traumatised not to take further action.

According to weekend reports, the evangelist pastor from Nigeria, TB Joshua, has sent teams to hand over gifts to the families of the 84 deceased South Africans.

The gifts included money, anointed water and maize meal.

TB Joshua. Picture: Supplied
TB Joshua. Picture: Supplied

But Molebatsi said he wanted nothing from the pastor.

“You can’t pay for a funeral with that. He can take the R5 000 and shove it,” he said.

Molebatsi’s sister, Hlubi, has not been returned to South Africa yet.


Government spokesperson Phumla Williams said earlier this week Nigerian authorities were in the process of conducting DNA analyses on the bodies of the 115 people killed in the building collapse.

The process of repatriating the bodies to South Africa had been slow, she said.

“The Nigerians said they will draw the DNA samples themselves and appoint a service provider to run the tests. Only then can we begin to compare results with our data.”

The service provider may be South African, but that remains unclear.

She said the Nigerian government had made it clear South Africa would not have access to the bodies.

“They insisted we aren’t going to touch those bodies … even though they don’t have the technology to do some of the testing,” Williams said.


The South African government has promised the bodies would be returned to the right families, but that might be difficult as it’s hard to get fingerprints from decomposing corpses.

Molebatsi said the time families had been given for repatriation was a week or two, and they “could only hope” this timeline was accurate.

Pastor’s supporter drinks petrol as part of “miracle” (video)

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on September 25, 2014.

Pretoria pastor Lesego Daniel has roped in a congregant to support claims that petrol can be turned into pineapple juice.

The believer has taken his faith to ‘another level’ by drinking petrol to “connect to God”.

In January this year, Pastor Lesego Daniel made members of his church eat grass for the same reason.

At the time he reportedly told his congregation that eating grass would rid them of their sins and heal them of any ailments they may have had.

In a video posted on YouTube, the Pretoria-based pastor’s congregant claims to turn petrol into pineapple juice.

This “miraculous” power is demonstrated in front of the congregation, with one of the church members pouring petrol into a basin and igniting it to prove that it’s flammable.

Beforehand, Daniel tasted the liquid in front of the crowd.

READ MORE: The dangers of drinking petrol

What is apparently the same fluid is then drunk in front of the congregation, with spectators shouting “hallelujah”.

After drinking the “petrol turned pineapple juice”, the man coughs before saying: “It has lot of fumes but I don’t have any side effects”.

Daniel works from Robboni Centre Ministries in Ga-Rankuwa.

Mogoeng denies pushing Christianity

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on June 5, 2014. 

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on Wednesday denied trying to push religion down South Africans’ throats, saying his comments had been misunderstood.

In a press conference held this afternoon, Mogoeng said those who did not read his speech and only got bits of it are the people who have “misunderstood” him.

FILE PICTURE: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng addresses members of parliament in the national assembly during the first sitting of the 5th democratic parliament in Cape Town, 21 May 2014. Picture: Refilwe Modise
FILE PICTURE: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng addresses members of parliament in the national assembly during the first sitting of the 5th democratic parliament in Cape Town, 21 May 2014. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Speaking at an annual conference in Stellenbosch last week he sparked outrage came from the public when Mogoeng suggested that religion should inform some of our law making processes.

Mogoeng said he spoke about law and religion because that was the theme of the conference.

“I spoke about religion and law because the conference was about religion and law,” said Mogoeng bluntly.

Mogoeng said he highlighted all religions and not just Christianity, “there are treasures in all religions in Africa” he went on to use Ubuntu as an example.

Mogoeng added that all religions practiced properly teach tolerance and love and by so doing shape society.

The chief justice felt that he had not betrayed the constitution in anyway, “I take my oath of office very seriously. I will not give precedence to my religion at the expense of the law”.

When the chief justice finished reading his prepared statement, he ended with “God bless you” before opening the floor for questions.

Infuse religion in law making: Mogoeng

NOTE: Article first appeared in The Citizen newspaper on May 29, 2014. 

In sound clips and video footage aired yesterday, Chief Justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng suggested infusing religion into “law making practices” would make for a more moral society.

FILE PICTURE: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA
FILE PICTURE: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

Speaking at the annual Religion and Law Conference in Stellenbosch on Tuesday evening, Mogoeng said that South Africa’s degenerated morality could be, “effectively turned around if religion were to be factored into law making practices”.

Mogoeng went further: “I hope to support this conclusion with particular reference to principles drawn from the Christian faith. I do so, not because I have no regard for other religions, but because it is the only faith in which I have invested a lot of time and energy to familiarise myself with.”

Lulama Luti, spokesperson for the judiciary said: “The Chief Justice believes there is a need to drive moral regeneration more forcefully and to develop a national moral code based on the foundational values of our Constitution and all other religious principles …”

His comments were the topic of numerous timelines on Twitter yesterday, based on short snippets of the speech they saw or heard. What the public gallery did not comment on was what Mogoeng said after that, which effectively negated his initial view somewhat. He said religion in the law could have negative effects, “the law influenced by dominant faith has at times been adulterated to serve as a tool for the extinction of smaller religions”.

He urged those in attendance to think about what religious intolerance was doing to people in places like the Central African Republic and Sudan as examples.

Shadrack Gutto from the University of South Africa said: “The Chief Justice needs to clarify what he meant by religion. Many people are spiritual but not religious for instance.”

A beaut of a day

The excitement around yesterday had been brewing for a few days. We were positively buzzing when we finally hit the N1 South to Pretoria.

Our destination was a Buddhist temple in Bronkhorstspruit. I knew nothing about the place and had no scholastic interests there. I was going along for the experience and because I am a liker of things.

Shandu and Thuli didn’t hold back when we took photo’s upon arrival. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

A few wrong turns delayed us a bit but when we finally found our way to Nan Hua Temple we realised that the long drive from Joho was worth it.

The bright red, green and gold trimmings on the Chinese architecture was breathtaking. I felt like I was on the set of every Chinese/Kung Fu movie I had ever seen. We went photo mad from the very minute we arrived. All of us so desperate to try and capture some of the beauty our words would fail to demonstrate later on.

Entrance to the main temple. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Entrance to the main temple. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

The very first thing I noticed was this graffiti on one of the arch’s pillars.

Really?! :/ Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Really?! :/ Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

It made me sad, that some inconsiderate people could not grant others the same religious freedom bestowed on them. It’s just crass. But all the while very telling innit?

Anyway that unpleasantness didn’t ruin the mood for long. Our guide Sipho was very helpful, he told us about everything from the architecture, to explaining some religious and cultural aspects of Buddhism.

Walking up to the main temple, a stilling calm washed over me and stayed with me for the duration of our tour. It was a really tranquil space. Being in the temple where the main shrines were was quite an experience.

The 2.5 metre high Buddha‘s were a magnificent sight. The ceilings breathtaking and the mood serene. In the temple I most enjoyed the playing of the echo drum and wooden fish. The sounds created an echo around the room that made one take in design aesthetics in a holistic way.


The rest of the tour saw us eating a vegetarian lunch in absolute silence and meeting temple master Ven Hui-Xing, who was the most animated person I have ever met. He even gave us each a gift, what a great day indeed. Have a look at the links below for more on the day 🙂